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Archive for October, 2008

Cranial Osteopathy

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Cranial osteopathy is a specialist technique used to manipulate the bones of the skull with a touch so light that many people can barely feel it. Advocates claim it is based on sound anatomical and physiological knowledge combined with palpatory skills that are finely tuned and extremely sensitive qualities of touch.

It was developed in the 1930s by American osteopath William Garner Sutherland, a disciple of Andrew Still. His osteopathic training taught him that the bones of the skull, which are separate at birth, grow together into a fixed structure and are immovable, but he noticed that these bones retained some potential for movement even in adulthood. If they could move, they could also be susceptible to dysfunction. With experimentation on himself and others, he discovered that compressing his skull could have severe mental and physical effects. He discovered that the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord fluid had rhythms, which he called “the breath of life,” because the rhythms appeared to be influenced by the rate and depth of breathing. By gently wanipulating the skull he found he could alter the rhythm of this fluid flow.

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